FeaturedScience Fiction

Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath


Worth reading 😎

Set in an all-too-possible near future, this is an ambitious novel with some intriguing and enlightening insights into the human psyche.

An Ambitious Novel With Much Potential

Bodies: A Romantic Bloodbath is a very ambitious novel with some intriguing and enlightening insights into the human psyche. It transports the reader into an all-too-possible near future where humanity is on the cusp of a major threshold in evolution.

While focusing in on the lives of a few individuals, mainly connected through the Counselor, this strange romance also addresses big questions about the future of humankind. At times I was a little confused, and at other times a little revolted. However, it’s worth pushing through those moments to grasp the bigger picture of what’s going on here.

This novel has a rather explosive opening that is quite comical and entertaining as well as providing a great hook. However, the narrator is a bit misleading in parts. In particular, it’s implied that the prologue’s main character will die imminently.

Vince is the first main character introduced, though I’d say he’s more of an antagonist than a protagonist. It’s difficult to say because this story becomes quite convoluted as it progresses.

Introduced as an underdog, Vince is quite a sympathetic character to begin with. However, that soon changes as his behavior becomes more erratic. He does have a nice character arc though he isn’t focused on enough toward the end of the book to make it clear what’s actually happening with him. Although he’s important throughout, he is quite in the shadows later on.

The true protagonist isn’t introduced until Chapter 4, p. 69. He’s called Leo. Of course he is. Because when you’ve got a major science fiction epic that potentially rivals The Matrix for scope, you need a Leo. Just in case it’s not clear to the reader that Leo is the real deal — the protagonist of this long tale — he is the only character who narrates his story in the first person.

Leo owns the main plot arc which is, strangely, the romance plot line. Given how epic the main action plot is, I was a little taken aback by this. Leo should be quite a likeable guy because he’s another underdog…and a better behaved one than Vince, to be sure.

However, some of Leo’s internal thoughts as the story develops reveal that he’s kinda shallow and sometimes not very nice. Again, I enjoyed his character development arc. BUT, I feel that his final state of attitude toward others (which I can’t go into details about without spoilers) feels to come out of the blue without any significant shown character development before this.

Sara is the single truly angelic figure in this story and the most significant female character. I say she’s an angel because she has no obvious flaws. Indeed, she puts others before herself on multiple occasions and helps out anyone she can no matter their attitude toward her or status within society. She’s the kind of girl you don’t want your daughter to be because she’d soon become a doorstep.

I was a little confused about the Queen of England, which is a shame. It spoiled the effect a little. I was confused because the story is set in 2049, which would make her 123 years old if it’s Queen Elizabeth.

At first I thought that modern medicine had miraculously helped her to stay alive for longer. But then things happen when she meets the youngest ever President of the United States that make me think it can’t possibly be her.

It could be Princess Charlotte. She’d be 34 in 2049. However, that would require Charles to die younger than his mom did, William to die before he’s 69, and her older brother Prince George to die before he’s 36. If it had been clarified who the Queen was by name, it would have been easier to visualize and much more plausible in the scene with the President.

More significantly, I think the author misunderstood the role of a monarch within a constitutional monarchy. Yes, the Queen signs off all the laws before they can become law and has the power to dissolve Parliament. In this way, she’s pretty similar to the POTUS.

However, unlike the POTUS, the Queen has no real influence on what laws are made. Those are decided by committees and passed by debate in the two Houses of Parliament. She just signs the things when they’re done. The only figurehead who can significantly influence what laws are passed in the Prime Minister. Since he or she is changed on a regular basis, they wouldn’t fit into this story very well.

Strangely, despite the bloodbath that this novel is, the main plot appears to be Leo finding the love of his life. It’s difficult to pin that down, though, since there are so many things going on in this novel.

The action plot, concerning the arrival of clones and their impact on society, is much more interesting. However, I was disappointed that it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. Maybe there will be a sequel novel where it does.

Within this novel, the author set up many significant plot lines concerning the clones, the people hiding from the clones, the clones in positions of power, and the laws about cloning. But after these plots have been set going, and there is obvious conflict, nothing actually feels like it gets resolved. The only one plot line that is completed within the novel concerns Leo and the love of his life.

Overall, I was disappointed by the plot development. While I found the resolution of the relationship plot very satisfying, I would have liked a clearer end to all the various action plot lines.

It didn’t matter that the various action plot lines weren’t resolved by the end of the novel. What I was disappointed about was that they weren’t left in some kind of clear position…like a distinct step along the way toward resolution.

The plot lines were all just left hanging with no obvious direction or place to go. I really wanted to be able to understand the end game that the various players were aiming at — their end goals. At least, that’s how I felt when I reached the end of the novel.

The whole clone thing is great. I loved all of that, especially the extra abilities clones have over humans.

The buildings, however, were often rather over the top. Every significant character appeared to live in a palace bigger than Buckingham Palace. Except Leo, of course. He is the underdog.

There was one major continuity error. It’s on p.12 and relates to an action at the bottom of p.10. Basically, you can’t repair two holes in a glass windowpane with OxyComplete no matter how hard you scrub it.

As an aside issue, bullets end up somewhere. If they passed through a body, they would then wind up embedded in a wall or other solid object. Unless, of course, they stayed inside that body. Also, moving bodies across a yard would likely leave some trace.

So, focusing on just the first issue, the implication that the events would be impossible to detect is completely false. To make this right, either the window should have been open at the beginning of the scene (which it isn’t because the breaking of the glass is mentioned) or the character involved had the best windowpane replacing skills the world ever saw.

I had a few problems with the prose. It was clear enough, but often it appeared to be telling rather than showing the story.

Most significantly, there was a lot of profanity and generally crude talk. I mean, I don’t mind a little here and there, but this novel took it to an extreme. I haven’t read stuff with this level of profanity and crudity since Gore Vidal‘s and Anthony Burgess‘s novels from the 60s and 70s.

On the other hand, this same profanity and crudity offered an interesting insight into the human thought process. I liked how the author offered an uncensored view into people’s raw thoughts…their most perverted desires or violent dreams. On the whole, after reading the novel, I decided that the level of profanity was warranted. It provided an extremely realistic picture of how people think.

This is an original and intriguing science fiction novel. It has a lot of great things going for it. However, by the end of the novel, I didn’t feel that I got the full picture of everything.

What I mean is that after reading I wasn’t fully clear about all the characters and their place in the world or in this story. One of the important characters only appears at the very end, and we’ve no idea about her history (other than her earliest childhood) or her in-depth thoughts about society at this point in time. Yet the whole resolution of the story so far depends on her.

Further, I didn’t get a good enough grasp of what was going on in society and with the various big players by the end. I didn’t get what everyone’s goals were. In particular, the Counselor’s goals are clouded. He appears to lean in one direction and then suddenly acts very strongly in favor of the other on multiple occasions.

For this reason, I fear I can only give this book 3 out of 5 at the moment. I feel it should do much better than this. It is a better story. BUT I feel that it maybe needs to be 20% longer and to give us more satisfying endings to the various plots. I’d also like more clarity in general.

In summary, I believe this would be a wonderful novel if the ending did not feel so rushed and incomplete. It needs to be longer and contain more clear resolution of the political and societal conflicts toward the end.


I received an advance review copy for free, but this review is my honest opinion of the book.

Reviewed by

Robert is passionate about reading and writing. He has published short stories in the ASP Literary Journal and Meet Cute Press. Robert is a freelance content writer. He writes about travel, health, and outdoor adventure. Robert is on the judging panel for the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award.


About the author

Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev is a Russian-American novelist who studied theology and philosophy at Whitworth University before obtaining his graduate degree in theological studies from Emory University. He is also a folk-rock musician. He lives and loves in Los Angeles. view profile

Published on May 25, 2021

100000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Science Fiction

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